Drivers given 8.6 million parking tickets by private firms in a year
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London motorists received 398,745 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for driving on School Streets in 2022, according to new research. This is the equivalent of 1,092 fines every day, with the number of penalties handed out increased by 37,184 (10 percent) from 2021.
The School Streets Initiative imposes temporary restrictions on roads outside schools to stop motorists from driving on them at school drop-off and pick-up times.
School Streets are designed to protect children from traffic and reduce air pollution around schools, with the restrictions applying to school traffic and through traffic.
The first School Street in London was introduced in Camden in 2017 and since then, the popularity of the schemes has increased significantly.
In 2022, there were approximately 400 permanent School Streets in London, with another 136 School Streets being trialled as part of consultations.
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'Easier for drivers to be caught out' with new street restrictions as 398,000 fines issued. (Image: Getty)
If these trials are successful and implemented, there could be a 35 percent increase in permanent school streets in London, taking the total to 529.
On average each London Borough issued 15,336 PCNs in 2022, up from 13,906 in 2021. However, some London Boroughs issued significantly more fines.
Lewisham issued 37,393 fines to motorists driving on these streets last year – also the highest total for any Borough.
Lewisham had 45 permanent School Streets in 2022, with another four being trailed – the most of any London Borough.
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The London Boroughs of Merton and Camden issued the second and third most School Street Penalty Charge Notices – at 35,477 and 33,708 respectively.
The PCN for driving on a School Street at a restricted time can be up to £130 in London.
Whilst the penalty is halved if the offending driver pays within 14 days, this means that in 2022 London boroughs issued fines that could have potentially totalled nearly £52million.
Nicholas Mantel, Head of Churchill motor insurance, said: "School streets are a great way to protect children and create a healthier environment.
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"However, the surging popularity of the schemes means it's now much easier for drivers to be caught out by new restrictions.
"We would encourage drivers to always check road signs carefully to ensure they avoid any expensive fines.
"If drivers do receive a fine, they have 28 days to pay it or appeal to an independent tribunal.”
This comes days after experts have proposed allowing parents to be allowed to use bus lanes to help them save time and ensure their children get to school on time.
UK locations with the highest number of PCN fines. (Image: Express)
Parents are often held up on the congested roads and many need to make it on time to work afterwards too.
Allowing parents to make use of the often empty bus lanes on the school run would save valuable time and avoid children being late to their lessons because of traffic. The majority of bus lanes are already opened up to taxis and motorcycles on UK roads.
Giving those on the school run the chance to drive in these lanes will still allow buses to run on scheduled times while also ensuring students aren't late to school.
Cars with children in the back during the morning school run hours of eight and nine would be able to use the bus lane without worrying about congestion or a hefty fine.
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